Love Monster, Hate Printing

Hate is a bit of an overstatement, but I’ve gone with artistic licence for the title of this post!

Love Monster is a lovely book about being different and being loved for who you are, not for being like everyone else. I really liked the book, and enjoy reading it to the girls. But what I didn’t realise until seeing the video below is that the pictures are created by printing, which is why they have the lovely quality that they have.


On seeing this, I was inspired. This is generally not a good thing, because I have the artistic talent of, um, a cluster of colour blind hedgehogs in a bag… But still, I wanted to do printing! Printing! The girls would love that. Wouldn’t they?

Light sensitive etching plates and printing presses aren’t a feasible option so I started to think lino printing because I remembered doing it at school, but didn’t think that was a particularly safe option for small children. After some great advice from Zoe at Playing by the Book I decided to get 4 colours of water based printing ink, a brayer (or roller) and tried to get the girls interested in attempting printing using biro drawings on styrofoam.

It didn’t really work very well. The girls didn’t really get the idea of drawing on the styrofoam (pizza packaging in our case); I couldn’t find a biro or the paper embossing tools that I’m sure I have somewhere and the blunt end of a paintbrush wasn’t the viable alternative I hoped it would be (although pencils worked well); and one roller between two children (and 4 colours) meant arguments and lots of roller cleaning…

I had a rethink. Foam sheets! Then the girls wouldn’t have to draw anything, just needed some foam stickers to stick on and instant printing. So I invested in 2 more rollers, thinking this would be a huge hit, and we tried again.

The girls weren’t interested. Mighty-Girl did one print, and then was far more interested in making patterns with the foam stickers (and ‘painting’ them with the ink) and although Destructo-Girl managed some prints with help, she much prefered making handprints.

Mummy got completely frustrated that her brilliant idea wasn’t appreciated, and sulked. Looking back at the pictures, it looks a lot more successful than I remembered!

On the bright side, Love Monster is a lovely book that I can read again and again. And we have all the tools we need for attempting printing again, at some point in the future…

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Love Monster by HarperCollins for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.

6 responses to “Love Monster, Hate Printing

  1. Oh I’m so sorry that you’ve not fallen in love with printing as a process. I’m very excited as I just received some proper linocutting materials and new ink… so I can’t wait to get printing again. I think using foam stickers was a great idea. You could also try using “stamps” if you have any around the house – ones that are premanufactured eg with letter of the alphabet. Also, try doing fruit and veg stamps – cutting into them and then making prints from their shapes and patterns. Cabbage, celery, lemons are all great for this.

    • I’m excited, I just get too excited and then disappointed that the girls want to do something else. I’m not very good at the “Child-Led” part of my name 😉 We have stamps and ink pads too, but I get frustrated with the mess. I’m not very good at this parenting job sometimes 😉 Thanks so much for all the ideas, we will be trying them! 🙂 x

  2. That happens to me too, where I get really excited about something and think the kids will love it and then it just falls flat. Auughh! It’s hard to just step back and let it go. Sometimes it’s not even about letting go of it altogether – just the expectation of how it will turn out. You project looked like something I would have liked to do 🙂

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  4. love the “mummy got frustrated and sulked” thats so me. My mum recently cleared out her art supplies (she uysed to be a primary school teacher) and one of the things she gave me was printing ink but I haven’t been brave enough to try it yet

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